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who needs sleep anyway

It's rapidly approaching 1:00 in the morning and it looks like Raya and I will be spending another night on the couch. I was just about to crawl into bed after what proved to be a very long and exhausting day with a toddler that doesn't realize that when she stays home sick from school, she's supposed to be lethargic and sleep on the couch all day long, and her jealous big sister who also has a yucky stuffy head. Last night we stayed on the couch (notice I did not use the word ”slept”) because she couldn't breathe laying flat and also because she went to asleep on the couch and sometimes it's just not worth moving her. So yeah, after the incessant coughing all night long and seeming to feel miserable all night, I thought maybe she'd be a little more on the calm side today. Clearly that thought was the product of lack of sleep and the cold I have now caught that I've been praying all day was just allergies. Gosh I wish it was just allergies. It's definitely not thogh, darn it. Just add I was about to crawl into bed, Raya started coughing really badly so I checked her and rubbed some herbal crap on her chest and after that, she wouldn't stay in her bed so we're back on the ol' couch. I learned the hard way not to have my head near hers while sleeping, so we're laying at opposite ends of the couch and she's snoring and hugging my foot like a teddy bear. (it's clean, don't worry) Every now and then she'll stir a little and start rubbing and patting my foot, and then she'll hug it. It melts my heart and oddly enough, it doesn't tickle. I routinely stay up too late but it's because it's so peaceful after the kids are in bed. (peaceful is not the same as quiet, they pretty much all snore) It's late night snuggles with this busy toddler that keep me from going to sleep some nights though, and I'll gladly take that over sleep. Sometimes. (easy to say at 1:00 in the morning, not so much at 6 when they all start waking up...)

On a happier note, Raya got a very cute new backpack in the mail today. (I will probably be doing a separate post about it on another day) My very sweet friend Danielle sent it, and getting it totally made Raya's day. She wanted to put it on right there even though she was already wearing a backpack. :) After I let her try it on, we HAD to switch her pump into the new backpack for the rest of the day. I thought the sunglasses and Angry Birds tattoos were a nice touch. Also on the bright side, my new phone battery came today. I've been playing like it's 1990 and only using my phone when it was plugged into the wall for the past few days because that's the only way it would work. The new case came to so I don't have to keep pinching my hand in the cracked one. I also cooked dinner and it was quite delicious in spite of the children trying really hard to keep me too distracted to finish, and it was delicious. Those were the highlights of my day. Here's hoping for a good enough night's sleep and improvement in the ear infections enough to get her to preschool in the morning so Mommy doesn't go crazy. :)


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Adhesives Part 1: Adhesives & Taping Techniques for NG tubes

This series has been a long time in the making. Back when Raya got her NG tube, I had no idea there were so many different adhesives on the market. At the hospital, they had used some kind of fabric tape in a box that had to be cut with scissors and that was the ONLY thing we accidentally left at the hospital. Raya caught her little pinky finger on the tube a couple days after we got home and the only medical tape I had ended up bringing home was Durapore. This tape is VERY sticky, very strong, and definitely not the best option for the tender little cheek of a 2 month old baby. A couple days later, we went to the GI doctor and the nurse saw the tape and told me that Duoderm would be much gentler on her skin and she gave me a couple of 6x6 sheets to try out.
That was the beginning of our trial-and-error process of figuring out which types of adhesives were better for all of the different things we used them for. This will of course NOT be an exhaustive review of every adhesive out the…

Sensory Processing Disorder: How to Make a Weighted Blanket

Lately I've been toying with the idea of making Raya a weighted blanket. She loves heavy things and has a lot of sensory seeking behaviors in regards to proprioception. Translation: she craves sensory input that helps her to gain awareness of where her body is in space, and it takes stronger than average input for her to get the feedback that her body is craving. (or at least that's how I understand it :) She seeks out "heavy work" activities, like carrying heavy things, pushing heavy things around on the floor (chairs, full laundry baskets, etc), and anything that gives heavy resistance to her muscles and joints. Lucky for us, carrying her backpack is a good heavy work activity because the poor kid gets to do that for a few hours a day. :)
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Feeding Tube Terminology: G tube words

One of the many things I didn't have a clue about before Raya got her G tube was the fact that there are LOTS of different kinds of G tubes, all with similar but different features & functions. Some of the terminology that was tossed around in the beginning was very confusing. When I met with the surgeon to pick out a button for when Raya's initial tube was ready to be changed, they pulled a bunch of tubes out of a cupboard, put them down on the table in front of me and said, "What kind do you want?" I had NO idea what to pick, all I knew was that anything would be better than what we had at that point.

Here are a few things I wish someone could have explained to me before Raya got a G tube:

1. What the heck does PEG mean?
PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. In other words, a gastrostomy tube is placed through the abdominal wall using an endoscope to visually guide the surgeon to the best location to place the tube. The term PEG is used to refer to …